Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies book cover

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies

Author:
Mark Goulston
Published: March 27, 2012

Overview

As Dr. Mark Goulston tells his patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), "The fact that you’re still afraid doesn’t mean you’re in any danger. It just takes the will and the way for your heart and soul to accept what the logical part of your mind already knows." In Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies, Dr. Goulston helps you find the will and shows you the way.

A traumatic event can turn your world upside down, but there is a path out of PTSD. This reassuring guide presents the latest on effective treatments that help you combat fear, stop stress in its tracks, and bring joy back into your life. You'll learn how to:

  • Identify PTSD symptoms and get a diagnosis
  • Understand PTSD and the nature of trauma
  • Develop a PTSD treatment plan
  • Choose the ideal therapist for you
  • Decide whether cognitive behavior therapy is right for you
  • Weight the pros and cons of PTSD medications
  • Cope with flashbacks, nightmares, and disruptive thoughts
  • Maximize your healing
  • Manage your recovery, both during and after treatment
  • Help a partner, child or other loved one triumph over PTSD
  • Know when you're getting better
  • Get your life back on track

Whether you're a trauma survivor with PTSD or the caregiver of a PTSD sufferer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies, gives you the tools you need to win the battle against this disabling condition.

As Dr. Mark Goulston tells his patients who suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), "The fact that you’re still afraid doesn’t mean you’re in any danger. It just takes the will and the way for your heart and soul to accept what the logical part of your mind already knows." In Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies, Dr. Goulston helps you find the will and shows you the way.

A traumatic event can turn your world upside down, but there is a path out of PTSD. This reassuring guide presents the latest on effective treatments that help you combat fear, stop stress in its tracks, and bring joy back into your life. You'll learn how to:

  • Identify PTSD symptoms and get a diagnosis
  • Understand PTSD and
the nature of trauma
  • Develop a PTSD treatment plan
  • Choose the ideal therapist for you
  • Decide whether cognitive behavior therapy is right for you
  • Weight the pros and cons of PTSD medications
  • Cope with flashbacks, nightmares, and disruptive thoughts
  • Maximize your healing
  • Manage your recovery, both during and after treatment
  • Help a partner, child or other loved one triumph over PTSD
  • Know when you're getting better
  • Get your life back on track
  • Whether you're a trauma survivor with PTSD or the caregiver of a PTSD sufferer, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder For Dummies, gives you the tools you need to win the battle against this disabling condition.

    Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for Dummies Cheat Sheet

    Symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) give medical professionals clues to help make proper diagnosis of the disabling condition. The right medications, a good attitude, and positive affirmations can help to relieve the overwhelming signs of PTSD.

    Articles From The Book

    4 results

    PTSD Articles

    Is Your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Medicine Working?

    Medications prescribed to help to manage symptoms of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) work to differing degrees among patients. Here are some of the ways you can tell if your doctor-ordered medicine is relieving common signs of PTSD:

    • You begin to fall asleep more easily and begin to sleep through the night (if sleep has been a problem for you).

    • You start to get your appetite back.

    • You find it easier to do the daily activities that you didn’t have the energy or motivation to do before.

    • You look forward to each day instead of dreading it, and you feel more hopeful.

    • You start wanting to be around people instead of wanting to avoid them.

    • You’re able to bounce back from little annoyances instead of crumbling when they happen.

    • You’re less jumpy when you hear loud noises.

    • You can handle being in situations that used to freak you out.

    While you’re looking for the positive effects of your medication, you also need to take notice of any negative reactions, such as a poor interaction with another med you’re taking. The med might not be working for you at all, or the dosage may require adjustment to deliver better results.

    • If your sleeping, eating, or mood doesn’t improve at all after you’ve taken an adequate dosage for a period of ten days to two weeks, you may need a higher dosage or another med.

      Non-psychiatric doctors are often hesitant to prescribe the necessary amount, because psychiatric meds aren’t their specialty. So if you think you may need a higher dosage, consult a psychiatrist.

    • If you feel one or more of the many nonspecific side effects listed in your medication’s instructions for more than three days, you may need a lower dosage or another drug.

    • If you have abnormal laboratory tests — such as blood count abnormalities, liver function tests, or a kidney function test — you probably need another medication.

    • If you develop allergic reactions, such as skin conditions or difficulty breathing, you probably need a different med.

    If several professionals are treating your PTSD, other mental disorders, and/or substance abuse issues, be sure that each professional knows about every medication you’re taking.

    PTSD Articles

    Symptoms That May Signal Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    If you’re battling with the idea that you are suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there are signs that you — and your medical professional — can look for. Here’s an overview of symptoms that may point to a post-traumatic stress disorder diagnosis.

    • Intrusive thoughts, emotions, or images: These may include vivid nightmares and/or flashbacks in which you feel as if the event is occurring all over again.

    • Avoidance and/or numbing: For instance, you may avoid people or things that remind you of your trauma, feel emotionally detached from the people around you, or block out parts of your traumatic experience.

    • Hyperarousal: Hyperarousal means being on red alert all the time, being jumpy or easily startled, having panic attacks, being very irritable, and/or being unable to sleep.

    You may also experience symptoms including body aches and pains, depression or other mental disorders, or problems with drugs or alcohol. If you have any or all of these symptoms, seek medical help — because if you do have PTSD, there’s help and hope!

    PTSD Articles

    How to Relieve Signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

    You can work to get your Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms under control — and calm the signs of distress when they intensify — by taking some of these quick and easy stress-busting steps:

    • Starting with your feet and working upward, tense each part of your body for a few seconds and then relax it.

    • Visualize a wonderful, relaxing place — for instance, a deserted beach or a cozy chair by the fireplace — and go there in your mind. If you become distracted, think about a parent, sibling, friend, teacher or other person who was there for you during a tough time and imagine that person saying to you, “Hang in there. You can get through this. You can handle this.” Then, gently bring your attention back to your mental paradise.

    • Think of three big or little things you’re grateful for in your life — for example, your best friend, your cat, or even your favorite CD.

    • Give your confidence a boost by thinking of something important you’ve learned, accomplished, or overcome, such as learning how to create a Web site, running your first 5K race, or passing a hard class in school.

    • Do 20 to 30 minutes of vigorous exercise. If you find yourself getting distracted or not being able to keep going, imagine a close friend or family member rooting you on.

    • Use an anchor — an object you can touch or look at, such as a ring or a photo, that reminds you of a happy place or time or of a person you love. Think of the place you went to when you were growing up to calm yourself down — was it your room? Your yard? A park? A long drive in a car? The beach?

    • Distract yourself — read a book, clean out a closet, plant some tomatoes, or exercise your creative interests. Better yet, watch a funny movie (because laughter really is good medicine).